[CF-metadata] Comment in coordinate variables (and CF checker)

Nan Galbraith ngalbraith at whoi.edu
Mon Apr 23 08:33:14 MDT 2012

Hi all -

I've got a question about the correct use of comments in CF.

In chapter 2 of the spec (actually,  2.6.2. Description of file
contents) the term comment is defined this way: "Miscellaneous
information about the data or methods used to produce it."

I'm using comments to describe some of my coordinate variables:
         DEPTH:comment = "approximate instrument depth" ;
         LATITUDE:comment = "surveyed anchor position" ;
         LONGITUDE:comment = "surveyed anchor position" ;

This SEEMS like what this attribute is meant to do; it gives an idea
of the coordinates' accuracy, or lack thereof, which can't really
be quantified.

These produce a warning from the NCAS-CMS (NERC) CF checker:
' INFO: attribute 'comment' is being used in a non-standard way.'

Isn't this the correct use of the comment field? Is there some prohibition
against this, or is there another use of the comment attribute, that
restricts its 'normal' use? I've pored over the spec, and can't figure
out why this could be considered 'non-standard'.  Any ideas? Am
I missing something?

Thanks -


* Nan Galbraith        Information Systems Specailist *
* Upper Ocean Processes Group            Mail Stop 29 *
* Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution                *
* Woods Hole, MA 02543                 (508) 289-2444 *

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